Remote work gained in popularity for some time now. COVID-19 impacts thrust it to the forefront as a necessity with some predicting that it will continue to be the norm, where possible, even after the dust settles. As this shift crystalizes into a long-term reality, workers are quick to embrace this new way of life as they look for answers to questions about how to successfully. To help get ready for the work of the future as well as improve on your current remote working routines, here are a few things that you can expect when working remotely:
1. New Relationship with Time
Apart from the physical setting, one of the biggest changes to face when working remotely is your relationship with time. You are now working by your own clock and depending on the job and the company you are with, you may even be able to set your own work hours. With greater flexibility comes an even greater responsibility. Especially in terms of time management. Your ability to time-block and stay focused may not be as easy as it sounds. Do yourself a favor and put strategies in place to stay productive and work smarter, not harder. Keys include: removing distractions from your environment; setting daily, weekly, or monthly goals; scheduling – and taking – appropriate breaks; and perhaps most important, setting expectations with your managers as to how you are meant to allocate your time and maintain communication.
2. Remedy Loneliness
If you have been living the remote lifestyle over the past few months, you may have experienced periods of loneliness. Working onsite allowed morning coffee with your team, water cooler talk, and the general comfort of knowing you are surrounded by coworkers you can lean on. A sense of nostalgia and feelings of social isolation can creep in when working remotely. But hey, you are not alone! This is one of the most common drawbacks of remote work, both during and outside of a pandemic. A sure remedy is to take a moment to reach out to your team, managers, and extended friend circle. Stay connected and stay in touch. Email, messaging, video chats, phone calls – during this technically savvy time there is no excuse to let your physical location hinder your access to the connection. Your colleagues, friends, people in your industry, and even your network will thank you as they are most likely experiencing similar feelings as well.
3. Strengthen Communications
Expanding upon the previous point, communication is more than just a roadblock for loneliness, it is a necessity. With no physical interaction, instructions and expectations may not be as clear or easily understood. It is your responsibility to make sure you have all of the information to get the job done. You may have to speak up in ways that seem uncomfortable at first, make your opinion known on weekly conference calls, reach out to your boss when things are unclear, and put in that extra effort to over-communicate rather than under. Make communication intentional and frequent. Video calls are the simplest way to hold remote meetings while reminding colleagues that all parties are human and building virtual relationships. One helpful tip is to set your rules of engagement, providing boundaries and expectations of your schedule. During this time, help out by extending patience and consideration and understand that we are all doing the best we can.
4. Learn New Skills
In a sense, you are now your own teacher. Remote work requires you to take on certain roles that you may not have seen yourself in before. You are your own boss, your own IT person, organizer, perhaps even an interior designer. Being on your own means that you may need to learn some new skills. Self-directed learning is crucial for remote workers. You should be proactive when learning and honing new skills and not let this time of isolation prevent you from remaining professionally relevant and competitive. Use the tools and resources available to remain a dynamic employee and not allow for your lack of locational change to lead to a lack of professional improvement.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Last, but certainly not least you must take care of yourself! It can be deceiving to think that the right path is to be “always on,” working nonstop just because you can. However, this can quickly lead to burnout and a loss of passion. One of the greatest benefits of remote work is that it allows you to live a flexible lifestyle and focus on things that matter to you outside the office. Just as you must know when to take a break, you must also stay mindful of when it’s time to log-off. For the greatest results from your work and your life, give yourself a chance to reset for the next day. Engage in a non-work-related hobby, meditate, eat properly and exercise, spend time with family, do whatever allows you to clear your mind and wind down at the end of the day.
What does remote work look like for you? Do you have additional tips and ideas that you are willing to share? Do you have questions specific to your situation that we can help answer? Email our team, firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe out there, we hope to hear from you soon!
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